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March 16th, 2018

Debunking the Myths about Gifted Students

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We’re beginning a new series today addressing myths about gifted students.  There are so many to consider!  So let’s shift our lens regarding giftedness and gifted students to the appropriate place, so that we may set them up for success.

Myths About Gifted Students

Debunking the Myths about Gifted Students

First Myth: Gifted students will do fine on their own; they don’t need help.

*Debunked: Would you send a star athlete to train for the Olympics without a coach? Gifted students need guidance from well-trained teachers who challenge and support them in order to fully develop their abilities. Many gifted students may be so far ahead of their same-age peers that they know more than half of the grade-level curriculum before the school year begins. Their resulting boredom and frustration can lead to low achievement, despondency, or unhealthy work habits. The role of the teacher is crucial for spotting and nurturing talents in school.

Here’s what we recommend at TestingMom.com. You are your child’s best teacher and advocate.  You know your child better than anyone else.  Do your research and begin to follow this five step process of the TestingMom.com S.C.O.R.E. System™:

  • Step 1 – Start with the application and test requirements
  • Step 2 – Challenge your child through practice
  • Step 3 – Overcome common test-taking mistakes
  • Step 4 – Reinforce underlying abilities
  • Step 5 – Emphasize listening, focus and perseverance

For a more in-depth look at these steps in S.C.O.R.E. training, we invite you to check out a TestingMom.com membership today!

Second Myth: Gifted Kids Will Be Fine In The Regular Classroom, Because Teachers Challenge All The Students.

**Debunked: Although teachers try to challenge all students they are frequently unfamiliar with the needs of gifted children and do not know how to best serve them in the classroom. A national study conducted by the Fordham Institute found that 58% of teachers have received no professional development focused on teaching academically advanced students in the past few years and 73% of teachers agreed that “Too often, the brightest students are bored and under-challenged in school – we’re not giving them a sufficient chance to thrive.” This report confirms what many families have known: not all teachers are able to recognize and support gifted learners.

Here’s what we recommend at TestingMom.com. Recently, at a live event in New York City, I (Karen Quinn, the Testing Mom) asked the NYC parents to write down all the questions they had. I thought they asked some great questions both about gifted and talented programs and whether it’s really worth it to go into a gifted and talented program.

She asked me this question:

“Do you think a gifted and talented program offers real advantages over a high quality general education elementary school and if so, what are these advantages?”

Now, I would say yeah, I do. I really do. I think if you can get your child into one of these gifted programs, it’s definitely worth putting him into the program and giving it a try.  There’s a number of things that I see that I think are advantageous. One of them is the fact that all of the other kids in the classroom are kids who have tested in with high scores. Your child is going to be surrounded by other kids who are very bright and motivated kids. I think what that does is it just gives all the kids incentives to do their best, work hard and just raises the level of education for everyone when everyone in the class is at a high level.

Read here for the rest of my answer: Challenging Your Gifted Student

Come back next week for more debunking the myths about gifted students!

*Developed from a longer list of myths explored in a special of Gifted Child Quarterly (GCQ) in the Fall of 2009
** Farkas, S. & Duffet, A. (2008). Results from a national teacher survey. In Thomas B. Fordham Institute, High achievement students in the era of NCLB (p. 78). Washington, DC: Author. http://www.edexcellence.net/publications/high-achieving-students-in.html

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